tv BBC World News PBS March 18, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> welcome to "bbc news," broadcast to our viewers on pbs and america and around the world. the u.n. security council backs action against colonel gaddafi with a no-fly zone. >> this resolution demands an immediate cease-fire and a complete end to attacks against civilians. >> as libyan forces close in on benghazi, gaddafi says his army will show no mercy. celebration and fireworks in benghazi as news reaches the rebels. in japan, engineers at the foot fishing the dai-ichi power plant lay new power plants that should be keeping the core cool. -- engineers at the fukishima
power plant late new power lines to keep the for cool. the u.n. security council has approved a resolution for the creation of a no-fly zone to protect civilians in libya from attacks by colonel gaddafi's forces. the resolution calls for all necessary measures but it rules out the use of foreign ground troops. there were five abstentions including china and russia. french officials have said that military action could begin within hours although britain has cautioned against that suggestion. >> there was no opposition to the plan that britain, france, and lebanon had presented. significantly, both russia and china were among the five countries to abstain. afterwards, britain made clear why the government felt they had
to act. >> the world should not stand by and accept gaddafi promised brutality against his own people. this is an expression of the resolve. this is a resolve by the arab league last weekend and measures to protect and safeguard the civilian population of libya. >> france will contribute a strong contingent of those enforcing the no fly zone. their foreign minister told the security council that the world could not let the events continued unchecked. >> as i speak to you now, colonel gaddafi lost troops are continuing their violent reconquest of cities. we cannot let these warmongers do this. we cannot abandon the civilian populations and victims of the repression. >> in the last few hours, the white house says said that the
leaders of america, britain, and friends are great that libya should comply with the decision. >> this should send a strong message to colonel gaddafi and his regime that the violence must stop, the killing must stop, and the people of libya must be protected and have the opportunity to express themselves freely. >> responding to the resolution, the libyan deputy foreign minister said it threatened what he called unity of this country. >> we sent a letter to the secretary general of the u.n. we wanted to give assurances to the international community that we care about our people and we care about the unity of the country. >> the resolution allows
countries not only to establish a ban on all flights over libya but to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack including in benghazi. that means air attacks and shelling from warships and it sets limits on how far the action can go while excluding an occupation force. the timetable for the implementation of the no-fly zone is unclear. britain has cautioned against suggestions that their planes could be in action within hours. american warships are already off of the libyan coast but low level of their involvement is as yet undefined. italy has said that they are prepared to allow their airspace to be used. >> it was about half past midnight in benghazi in the eastern side of libya, these are the scenes when the u.n. security council passed that resolution, fire workers for
going off and there was thousands of people also in the main squares of the city, which of course is the rebel stronghold where the national libyan transition council has based itself. there was lots of fireworks. guns were fired in the air. flights were being waved and there was chanting as well. we have stopped his plans, they were shouting. we will triumph. of course, it is not clear how muammar gaddafi will react to the u.n. security council resolution. it was not that long ago that robert gates was saying that there was lots of loose talk about a no-fly zone. what has changed for the u.s., do you think? >> what changed was the arab league to vote over the weekend. it was clear that there was going to be arab involvement in this move towards airstrikes which has been led by britain
and france. america and president obama decided that the conditions were right to adopt a much more muscular approach at the security council this week. this probably would not have happened without america's vigorous support. crucially, of course, we have these five abstentions. 10 votes in favor and five against led by china and russia. interestingly of course, in that group is germany. germany, the biggest country in the european union, has very serious feelings about whether the air strikes are possible or whether they will lead to a potential escalation or a regional conflict. >> any of the ambassador's apart from the germans talk about military actions about strategic air strikes? >> no, what we had is a lot of rhetoric and a lot of show of unity. there is a tension. clearly no one is sure how this
military action is going to proceed from here on in. president obama telephoned the british prime minister and the french president to make sure that they were going to go forward. there is a serious lack of detail and that is warning the skeptics, the five nations that abstained. >> -- that is worrying the skeptics. >> why do you think they took the step of not be telling this resolution? china and russia said this was an internal matter. >> rather skillfully, the americans, the british, and the french were able to morally strong arm russia and china. they said, do you really want to be the ones who are going to turn your backs on the defense's civilians in libya? are you going to enable gaddafi to go in and wreak vengeance on been qazi? clearly, -- wreak vengeance on
benghazi. clearly, they were the ones that blinked. >> the u.n. must realize this is only the start. this has to be coordinated from somewhere. there are divisions within nato. the u.n. -- the u.s. has not come in with any military hardware. is there any news after this decision about what might happen next? the u.s. has said, we have done our bit, now it is over to you. >> there is nothing scheduled for tomorrow in terms of any further meetings of the security council. clearly, they feel that they have done their job in the matter of about three weeks. they have provided the world with a very muscular authorization for air strikes. now it is up to the individual
powers and coalitions of bond -- and beyond the u.n. to come together and create some sort of reality on the ground that will prevent gaddafi from wreaking vengeance upon the civilians. >> let's move away from libya and moved to japan where police say the number of dead and missing has reached 16,600. nearly 6.5 -- nearly 6500 people are confirmed dead. smoke or steam rising from the number 2 reactor should be coming -- could be coming from the spent fuel pool. the agency hoped to fix power cables to all four reactors over the next two days. the top government spokesperson said that tokyo is willing to accept help from the u.s. in dealing with the country's nuclear crisis and he gave this assessment of current radiation levels.
>> relatively speaking, a round of the core, radiation measurements have not been serious enough as to have health effect. although some readings are high but these values are not the ones that pose a direct human threat today. this all depends on other conditions, environmental, monetary conditions. monitoring will continue in order to conduct detailed analysis. >> let's go to our correspondent in osaka. japan's it mission that they will accept technical help, is that an admission that this will become unmanageable? >> we understand that they're
trying to connect the power lies that are being driven through the nuclear power plants that has the least damage to distribution panel. the original problem was that the cooling system which would put water around the reactors, that was knocked out by the tsunami. the backup systems, the diesel generators, were also damaged. they are trying to regain some control. >> clearly, -- there are a few problems with the line to osaka and rowland. we will leave it there for the moment. let's stay with japan because the awesome task of clearing the mountains of debris is under way in parts of japan. just getting around the coastal region is a very difficult job. we are in the northeast.
this is one place that was pretty much smashed to pieces. >> this is the center. you can see the cleanup operations are already well under way. the bulldozers are in. we have seen people all over town trying to clean up their homes, businesses, shops as best they can. there is a lot of mud in these places. the sea is in that direction. the water came up the high street smashing into these shops and businesses. you can see the debris. they are trying to make an impact on this. this is such a huge task. this is a thriving town. it was the center of japan's fishing industry. all of that now lies in ruins. what happens to this community of the future is very much an open question. at the moment, people are trying to clear as much as they can of
all this debris. at the same time, they are trying to find out what happened to missing loved ones. there is a main information center here so people here can find out whether their loved ones have perished. people are trying to get on top of this disaster. when you look around, this is an absolutely enormous task that faces these people. >> this is "a bbc news." the former president of haiti, jean-bertrand aristide is on his way back home after seven years in exile. the united nations officials have warned of shocking and illegal human-rights abuses in bahrain where opposition leaders were arrested overnight. we have the report from the capital.
>> braving the bullets, anti- government protester in the suburb of the capital. we don't know exactly who was firing the shot but the protesters is hit in the leg and then rushed away in the back of the car. this is the first image of violence to merge on the day that military forces retook the square. there is a mood of defiance in the suburbs. they have built makeshift defense is to try to keep the military out. this young man, who did not want us to identify him, said the protest movement to push for change would not stop. >> we are not afraid anymore. finished. they tried to scare us, this is not working anymore. >> we are trying to get to the main hospital which troops closed yesterday. even if they need medical help, people are now terrified to go there. we got close enough to see the
troops are still in control of hospital. the authorities to see this as an opposition stronghold. the doctors are being allowed in and out. in the center, the military is firmly in control. elsewhere, there was a tense to defy martial law. -- there were attempts to define martial law. this was one of the men injured. this is the car of a citizen working for the bbc. it was shot at. it is not clear why. it is clear the authorities do not want the world to see how they're dealing with the authorizing here. -- uprising here. >> this is "bbc news." the u.n. security council has agreed that all necessary measures should be taken to
protect civilians from attacks by colonel gaddafi's forces including the imposition of a no-fly zone. workers have been lained new cables and hopes that they can install water pumps. colonel gaddafi has warned to expect no clemency unless they lay down the weapons. government warplanes have bombed targets on the outskirts of benghazi, the stronghold of rebel forces. it is from there that we got this report is before the vote. -- just before the vote. >> shooting and an enemy that cannot be seen. it is proving almost impossible to stop. it seemed as though the battle from benghazi has begun. -- for been gauzy -- for
benghazi has begun. fighter jets attacked the airport. within minutes, the find crowds poured out into the streets, jubilant at the news that two of the planes had been shot down. hundreds drove out of town to see the wreckage. there was none. no evidence emerged that any targets were hit or planes shot down. in a city bracing for attack, the people are just before good news. -- are desperate for good news. >> they feel confident. they are determined to go to the end until they get their demands. i am proud to be libyan. >> but this is what they are facing. we cannot verify these pictures
film yesterday but we believe they were taken in a front-line town that is surrounded and under siege by government forces. the rebels have tried to force them back, so far without success. there are reports that dozens might have been killed here. it is impossible to get into the town but we reached one woman who says she has been trapped there for the last two days. >> we don't have anywhere to go. we are so scared. >> if you were able to speak to the international community right now, what would you say? >> please stop this. please. >> it is exactly one month since the revolution began. what they are praying for is peace, prosperity, and freedom.
hundreds have already lost their lives for this cause and many more say they would rather die than surrender. but so far, their passion has been a poor match for a ruthless regime. tonight, they know that government forces are planning to advance on the city. in the last few minutes, news has come through that colonel gaddafi says he will bomb benghazi this evening. you can see the reaction of the crowd, one of anger and defiance. they know that gaddafi's forces are getting closer. >> people are bracing themselves for a bitter fight. the only thing that seems guaranteed is that more people will die for the cause of freedom in the arab world. >> earlier, i spoke to an expert on security issues in the middle
east. he is from the century foundation based in new york. i asked him if it makes any difference that the u.n. resolution is not unanimous. >> not particularly. looking at where we were in this debate last week when russian and chinese reticence looked to be an impossible hurdle to clear, i think the terms of the debate have shifted rather rapidly. judging on where we were, i would say that it is stunning that we got to it's a passed resolutions and frankly i think at stenches from russia and china said the best that could have been hell for by supporters. -- frankly i think that abstentions from russia and china are the best that could have been hoped for. >> is an attack is imminent? >> this does raise a point of contact within the resolution.
this does talk about a cease- fire and protection of civilians. there is an open question, what happens if they respect the cease-fire? what if they don't engage armor against the cities in the east? would u.n.-backed forces be authorized to take military action? >> you have preempted my question. what happens of colonel gaddafi respects this u.n. resolution and is not attacked benghazi, basically with straws and leaves the status quo? what happens then? >> this is a legal matter. looking at the language in the resolution, i don't think that there would be a mandate for military action. that is clearly in contact with the statements we have heard from european leaders and some american politicians. they are seemingly portraying
the possibility of regime change. i think that this is a tension that is yet to be resolved along with many open questions. we have seen the authorization of a set of tactics and given legal backing to those international actions but we have yet to see a filling in of a strategy on how this will play out. who will be participating. what will be undertaken. to ensure many onlookers, it would be useful to have a concrete picture about just what is going to unfold in the coming days and what kind of consensus have we come to. the language is broad, it could be interpreted in many different ways. >> the former president of haiti jean-bertrand aristide is going back, after seven years in exile.
he has insisted that he does not intend to become involved in politics. >> it has been a long goodbye but finally president jean- bertrand aristide is flying home. he is going into what could be a political storm. before leaving, a hasty news conference where they make no mention of the controversy that lies ahead and this statement in a medley of african languages which is meant to show his defiance. >> in haiti, we are very happy because they are waiting for us and they want us to be back home as soon as possible. their dream will be fulfilled. >> this is a dramatic departure that many believe should not be happening. the south africans have faced intense diplomatic pressure.
he has been a guest and not a prisoner. they say the matter is out of their hands. tonight, there's a fresh chapter in haiti's turbulent history. there was violence following the first round of voting in november. u.n. peacekeepers trying to keep control. with fears that destruction could happen at a critical time, the americans urged jean- bertrand aristide to delay. what increased the stakes was the return of this man who faces the prospect of criminal charges during his brutal rule. his arrival helped to whip up tensions in the country, distractions that haiti could do without. so, mr. aristide is claiming the moral high ground. a president elected twice, he is a political survivor a merchant's it -- emerging from
two coups and seven years in exile. he says he intends to stay away from politics. for many, he is considered a champion of the poor. his return is a potent symbol trying to recover from the earthquake. >> queen elizabeth's grandson has attended a memorial service in new zealand for those who died in the earthquake last month. in a speech that took tens of thousands of people in the city, he told the crowd that they were an inspiration to all people. prince william is on a tour of the disaster-stricken areas of new zealand. the u.n. security council has approved a resolution authorizing all necessary measures to protect civilians in libya from a tax dodge from attacks by colonel gaddafi's forces. -- from a tax by colonel
gaddafi's forces. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a